Expression of chemokines and chemokine receptors in the placental intervillous space during placental malaria
Harwell, Christina Louise
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Placental malaria (PM) causes 75,000-200,000 infant deaths and up to 500,000 cases of maternal anemia yearly. Effects of PM include maternal anemia, premature and/or low birth weight babies, and fetal mortality and are often more prevalent in paucigravid women. Given the profound immunological changes in a woman during pregnancy, the occurrence of malaria infection during pregnancy confounds the maternal immune system even further. In this study, chemokine levels and soluble ICAM-1 were determined via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and correlated with chemokine receptor expression on maternal infiltrate and pathogenic factors of PM and pregnancy outcomes. Higher placental parasitemia, malaria pigment deposition and lower birth weights are associated with increased levels of MIG, IP-10, MIP-1 alpha, MIP-1 beta and suppressed levels of RANTES in the placenta. The presence of cells responding to FKN and the increased levels of soluble ICAM-1 during PM infection may contribute to the protection against PM infection.